At times I've tried a few different solutions for a WordPress-powered photo gallery. There are lots of options, including plugins and custom post types. Theme matters a lot, here. ma.tt has a pretty impressive setup (as you would expect from the creator of WordPress), though I'm not sure where all the magic comes from.

So, have you implemented a gallery? Did you use built-in functionality, or are there some plugins you found helpful? What sorts of challenges did you face, e.g., needing to pick a focus/highlight image to represent the set.


9 Answers 9


otto has a wrote a perfect tutorial on how to get the same gallery results as ma.tt's without using a plugin i have already made mine.


Have look at the next gen gallery it does good job intergation


Build the gallery with WordPress default functions. Use the standard-functions to read the attachments of a post and build the gallery. Also i had write a plugin to link a atachment of the mediathek with a post - post2media. More about the default functions for attachments, like imgeas can you read in my post.

  • does this post2media plugin lets u attach an image (the same image/attachment id) to more then 1 post at the time?
    – Amit
    Aug 13, 2010 at 17:51
  • yes; create a new database entry.
    – bueltge
    Aug 13, 2010 at 18:01

I normally try to use the built-in media functions when working on client sites unless there's functionality needed that just can't be done with the native functions. This is an example I just finished of a gallery built using the native functions: Barnaby's Steakhouse.


I keep my photos on Flickr, and display them on my site with help from the Flickr Photo Album plugin. This results in my Gallery page, as well as some thumbnails in my site footer. The plugin can also be used to display photos in individual posts.

I considered doing galleries directly on my site, similar to ma.tt, but I didn't want to be keeping the same images in two places.


I second Pbearne- the Next Generation Gallery is - bar none- the best gallery plugin for wordpress out there.

I also quite like flickr-gallery if one needs to source images from flickr, specifically if you want to display sets & have them auto-update when the set is updated.


I'm working on this exact thing right now, it's been a bit of a frustrating experience really. It seems like you have to jump through a bunch of hoops to make it work, and I've still not got it working quite how I'd like it.

What I'm trying to implement is using a category page to display images based on specific categories / child categories and then have them be viewable by a JS lightbox method. What I find clunky is that you need to attach all images to posts first before you can categorise them, this seems like an unnecessary step when it seems like there's no reason why an image couldn't have categories linked to it just like any other post in the wp_posts table - images are technically attachment post_type after all.

Being able to just upload images and categorise them at the time of upload without having to place them in a specific page seems much more sensible to me. Or am I missing some kind of benefit with the current method here?

The other issue I'm encountering in WP3.01 is that when I place an image in a post and then delete it that it is still remaining as an attachment even though I've removed it. Seems buggy to me but maybe I'm doing something wrong there too?


My challenge was being brand new to writing a blog and new to WordPress. I had NextGen Gallery working in half an afternoon.

I may very well want something highly customized later on, but NextGen does a perfect job for my current needs.


nextgen does do a nice job, but it can be overkill....and i don't like the way it handles columns via custom fields. i'm still waiting for a plugin that lets you tick a few boxes in the media manager, and auto pulls those selected images into a gallery... versus relying on the attached images. the gallery shortcode has incldue and exclude params built in but they need better integration with the media manager. i only just learned about them, so no way would i expect my clients to know how to use that.

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